How to Install an Exterior Sliding Barn Door: Step-by-Step

Last Updated on January 25, 2023 by Heenan

Most people believe that the only functionality of a door is to ensure privacy.

However, people forget that every aspect of the house, including the door, is an expression of your taste. Aesthetic and a beautiful door can be just the touch of you to a house that would otherwise be boring and stale.

From bedrooms to the living room to the kitchen, we all need a compact, functional door, and sometimes one that can add a unique touch to our door.

A switch from a traditional swinging door to the ever-compact modern sliding barn door is maybe what you may be looking for.

And the best thing about it is that you can install the door yourself. Here’s the guide on how to install an exterior sliding barn door.

Materials Required

At first, we need to ensure that we have the materials at hand to install a sliding barn door to our backyard:

  • A door mounting kit
  • Ladders
  • Goggles
  • A mounting board
  • Measuring tape
  • Socket wrenches
  • Awl

How to Install an Exterior Sliding Barn Door?

Here’s the step-by-step process for you.

 Step 1: Assembling the Board

First, cut out and assemble the board according to the measurement of your opening. Keep a buffer zone or adjustment zone of at least half an inch when you measure the opening to fit the board.

We need that space to make sure the door can be opened and closed with ease. With the help of clamps, set up the cut board according to where you want the door to be.

Step 2: Making Sure to Attach a Mount Board

After that, make sure to attach a mounting board. It would be the secure support to your door track and will keep your door in place. The mounting board is also necessary to support your heavy barn door and help it slide easily.

Of course, the board needs to be bigger than the barn door to provide support. Usually, they are twice the size as the door will need enough space from a larger mounting board to slide within. The larger board also can withstand door weight, which is crucial when mounting a sliding door.

Step 3: Drilling to Help Set the Door

With the measurements from the assembly now, you can move on to drilling to set the door in place. If your door comes with an installation guide going over all the guides, all the better. However, if not, you can measure the assembly.

However, drilling is risky, and the essential part of this step is ensuring your safety. Wear safety glasses to protect your eyes and the shield, if necessary, to protect your entire face.

After the safety precautions are taken, drill holes into the mounting board along the lines you selected before. Using a drill machine, drill holes along the line creating pilot holes and maintaining the proper alignment.

Step 4: Rollers and Final Assembly

After the drilling part, you assemble the door onto the mounting board with a roller on top, which is the backbone of a sliding barn door. Without a roller, the barn door wouldn’t be the sliding barn door we are trying to achieve.

In this step, you must carefully install the rollers under and over the door to ensure the door slides as smoothly as possible.

And in this step, you also need to attach any final screws missing to assemble the door to its place correctly.

Step 5: Hanging the Door

Finally, hang the door onto the mounting board so that you can make sure it properly fits and attaches on the right track. All your work may be redundant if this part is not implemented correctly; thus, it is also the most crucial part of your DIY door projects.

We recommend you ask for help at this stage from someone else as doors are often quite heavy, and the wrong movement can either break the door or hurt you.

Step 6: Testing the Door

The last and final step is, of course, testing out whether all this work paid off. Slide the door multiple times to see if it slides back and forth smoothly. If it does, well done. And if it doesn’t, just recheck on the rollers, as they are the main responsible party for the sliding.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Even after following all the steps, you may still have some questions. Here are our answers to the top most frequently asked questions.

#1. How to make a barn door track?

Answer: This is one of the easiest jobs in your backyard. You would need two steel plates; the first one should be attached to the mounting board.

The second one would be used for attaching rollers. Regarding the sizes of the plates, the second plate should be 6 feet, and the first plate should almost double the size of the door to work.

After collecting them, assemble them to their place and drill holes into the first plate to attach with screws. There should be about 3 or 4 holes. Heat the second plate, bend them, and cut them into three U-shaped pieces. You can create U shapes by bending them. Finally, insert the rollers, and your barn track is ready.

#2. How to install a barn door track system?

Answer: To properly install a track system, your track should be twice the size of the door for it to function properly. Using the installation guide, drill holes through the track and the attached wall. Using screws and bolts, finish the placement.

Lastly, attach rollers on both ends of the track. Rollers are essential to the installation of the barn track door system, so make sure you properly ensure that they are placed in the right place.

#3. How to build a door using 2×4?

Answer: You would need some expertise with this method. Firstly measure the height and width of your preferable doorway first. After that, you would need some good quality lumber, typically in lengths of either 8, 10, or 12 feet.

With a leveler, measure their straightness of them. Then, if you find the lumbers adequately suitable, cut them into the pieces of your measurements of the doorway. This would give you the battens.

To get your cross pieces, use the miter saw. They should be about 45 degrees to help to keep the battens attached. Screw them in places with the battens, and you are essentially done.

#4. Which is better, the French door or a sliding barn door?

Answer: Sliding doors are space-saving and can be easy to use, whereas French doors are often mechanical and can take up a lot of space. However, French doors also offer better ventilation than sliding doors. So, in the end, it will be based on your needs and requirements.

In Conclusion

That’s the end of our guide on how to install an exterior sliding barn door. We hope the step-by-step guide was helpful enough to do so, and the answers to the frequently asked questions provided any other lingering questions you had in mind.

And we believe that installing a sliding barn door is one of the easiest tasks you can do by yourself, but it is one of the amplifying aspects of your representation in your house.

Related Resource: 
Recommended List of Cabinet Barn Door Hardware.

Meet the Authors

Heenan, Cannon, Mack, and Theodore are four outdoor enthusiasts. Each of them is a handyman and off-road adventurers. Dealing with different tools, automotive accessories, products related to home like sealers are some of their day-to-day tasks. They run this website to share their thoughts on various items they think are good or bad for others. Learn how they started as The Handyman Guru, and why they decided to start this blog..

Leave a Comment